Armour thyroid is a non-synthetic hormone replacement drug that is derived from the thyroid glands of pigs. It is used to treat hypothyroidism or low levels of thyroid hormones in the body. Hypothyroidism can occur as a result of disease, damage to the thyroid gland from injury or surgery, or from natural causes.
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck. It is responsible for producing thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Sufficient levels of thyroid hormones are essential for the proper growth and development of children, and for the functional metabolism of adults.
When the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones and a person suffers from hypothyroidism, the symptoms can vary from mild to very distressing. In adults, symptoms can include weight gain, fatigue, muscle weakness, irritability, depression, anxiety, dry skin, thin hair, constipation, sensitivity to cold, swollen or painful joints, heavy menstruation in women, and shortness of breath. Hypothyroidism in adults can often go undiagnosed because it progresses slowly, and its symptoms are similar to the natural effects of aging. Hypothyroidism is most common in middle-aged and older women. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people over 60 suffer from hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in adolescents can include stunted growth and development, delayed puberty, slower mental development, and slow reaction times. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants can include jaundice, a puffy face, regular choking, and constipation. All babies in the UK are tested for congenital hypothyroidism at 5 days old with a heel prick test.
Armour thyroid is a brand of NDT or Natural Desiccated Thyroid. It differs from other thyroid medications such as levothyroxine and liothyronine in that it is naturally derived from animal glands rather than man-made. Armour thyroid is most often prescribed by naturopathic doctors. Hormone replacement medications like armour thyroid work by replenishing the body’s natural levels of thyroid hormone. Once hormone replacement medications are prescribed, they usually must be taken for life. With proper use of medication, however, patients who suffer from hypothyroidism can live healthy, normal lives.
Besides its primary purpose of treating hypothyroidism, armour thyroid is sometimes used to treat other kinds of thyroid issues such as goitres, or as a supplementary treatment for thyroid cancer. It can also be used to test for regular function of the thyroid gland, and for related problems like hyperthyroidism, the condition of an overactive thyroid gland. On rare occasions, armour thyroid may be prescribed to combat infertility, provided the infertility is linked to low levels of thyroid hormones.
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or suspect you may exhibit its symptoms, consult your doctor about which medication is most appropriate for you. Some lifestyle changes, such as the introduction of yoga, exercise, meditation, and certain diets may also help to combat symptoms of hypothyroidism but cannot replace proper treatment with hormone replacement medication. If you are prescribed armour thyroid, consider shopping online to get the best value.